When it comes to news and breakfast TV, the commercial networks have almost had a monopoly on it - with various versions of Today and Sunrise, and not forgetting Ten's 6am news and the old Good Morning Australia - but from November not only will our ABC be delving into this arena, it will be doing so with an innovative format and as an investment into its digital channel ABC2.
From Monday 3 November, ABC News Breakfast launches with four hours every weekday of news and current affairs with Virginia Trioli, Barrie Cassidy and Joe O'Brien, but don't expect any "Mel and Kochie"-type nicknames for this group, this will be serious stuff for those that don't prefer the froth and bubble of the Sunrise set or Today.
An innovative aspect of the program is that it will also involve ABC news crews around the country and will also interact with ABC radio programs such as AM, PM, Radio National Breakfast and The World Today, as well as crossing to ABC's Melbourne and Sydney breakfast radio programs.
Viewers will also be able to interact with the program in real-time by SMS and email, with messages received being displayed on screen during the program. And to make the program accessible in real-time to all Australians, rather than central and western time zones having to see the show on delay, it will be streamed live from the show's website http://www.abc.net.au/breakfast.
It is a bold venture for ABC to combine radio, television and online resources into a single program.
Placing ABC News Breakfast on ABC2 is also a big step in promoting digital television. ABC2 has been in operation since 2005 but until now the amount of exclusive content it has aired has been largely limited to youth-oriented shows like Good Game, Hack Half Hour and JTV - but the advent of ABC News Breakfast on ABC2 shows a strong commitment to expanding ABC's digital offerings.
And placing ABC News Breakfast on ABC2 means that the children's timeslot that has occupied ABC1's mornings for decades can continue unchanged.
ABC2 is available as a standard-definition free-to-air digital channel and is also available on pay TV via Foxtel, Austar, Neighbourhood Cable and TransACT.
ABC News Breakfast.
Starts Monday 3 November, 6.00am, ABC2